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South African Journal of Industrial Engineering

versão On-line ISSN 2224-7890
versão impressa ISSN 1012-277X


MUTINGI, M.  e  MBOHWA, C.. A fuzzy-based particle swarm optimisation approach for task assignment in home healthcare. S. Afr. J. Ind. Eng. [online]. 2014, vol.25, n.3, pp.84-95. ISSN 2224-7890.

Home healthcare (HHC) organisations provide coordinated healthcare services to patients at their homes. Motivated by the ever-increasing need for home-based care, the assignment of tasks to available healthcare staff is a common and complex problem in homecare organisations. Designing high quality task schedules is critical for improving worker morale, job satisfaction, service efficiency, service quality, and competitiveness over the long term. The desire is to provide high quality task assignment schedules that satisfy the patient, the care worker, and the management. This translates to maximising schedule fairness in terms of workload assignments, avoiding task time window violation, and meeting management goals as much as possible. However, in practice, these desires are often subjective as they involve imprecise human perceptions. This paper develops a fuzzy multi-criteria particle swarm optimisation (FPSO) approach for task assignment in a home healthcare setting in a fuzzy environment. The proposed approach uses a fuzzy evaluation method from a multi-criteria point of view. Results from illustrative computational experiments show that the approach is promising.

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